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The terror group Hamas says that it will continue its “armed resistance” against Israel and Jewish people “in all of its forms” until Israel is destroyed, according to a statement by one of the terror group’s top officials.
Hamas’ renewed commitment to violence will not interfere with its efforts to form a unity government with the rival Palestinian Authority, which is led by President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the statement released by senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk on his Facebook page.
Marzouk released the statement on Thursday, which marked the 66th anniversary of what the Arabs refer to as the Nakba, or a day of mourning the establishment of the state of Israel, which they view as a “catastrophe.”
Hamas will not renounce violence until Israel is destroyed, according to the statement, a stance that would legally force the United States to cut off aid to the Palestinians should the unity government move forward.
“We will continue the resistance project in all of its forms, first and foremost the armed resistance that has proven to be capable of repelling the occupation and breaking its arrogance,” the statement reads, according to an independent translation of the Arabic provided to the Washington Free Beacon by Oren Adaki, an Arabic language specialist at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
“We will not override this method [of violence] until we receive our full rights and accomplish the liberation and return,” it said.
Hamas vowed to “renew our promise to our righteous martyrs,” as well as those Palestinians currently imprisoned by the Israelis for various terrorist acts, according to the statement.
The terror group will “continue along the path of resistance and loyalty to their blood and sacrifices,” the statement reads.
Hamas also used the occasion of the Nakba to honor the “sacrifices of our innocent martyrs who have given their lives cheaply in the path of liberation of the land and the holy sites.” The terror group also praised imprisoned terrorists who are “fighting their battle today against the Zionist jailers.”
Aside from terrorism, one of Hamas’ top goals is the formation of a unity government with Abbas’ PA.
Following the collapse of peace talks with Israel last month, Hamas and the PA announced that they had taken steps to form a unity government with elections scheduled for later this year.
Hamas says it is committed to the process, which will likely boost its political credibility.
“Accomplishment of the national reconciliation and the achievement of political participation between all factions of the Palestinian people is a strategic option, and we will work towards making it succeed, continue, and protecting it from all challenges,” read the latest statement.
Hamas’s inclusion in a Palestinian government would force a cut off in the $600 million the United States annually provides in aid. It also would severely complicate the peace process with Israel, which has refused to negotiate with the terror group.
Some U.S.-based advocacy groups such as the left-wing J Street have urged Israel to talk with Hamas, which outlined its negotiating goals in Thursday’s statement.
“The Zionist occupation’s continuous crimes, accelerating settlement and Judaization plans, and frantic attempts to impose a fait accompli of displacing and deporting our Palestinian people, stealing its land and obliterating its signs, as well as desecrating Islamic and Christian holy sites will not succeed,” the statement read.
Hamas will “give up no land” to Israel and said that it “rejects any surrender of any inch of land of Palestine or any portion of its holy sites,” including the entire city of Jerusalem, which Hamas says “will remain the capital of liberated Palestine, Allah willing.”
Sensitive holy sites on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, such as Al Aqsa Mosque, will not be shared with Israel and “no division will be acceptable,” according to the statement.
Hamas also is demanding the full right of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees. The right of return is a hot button issue for the Israelis because it would permit a massive influx of non-Jewish residents to move to Israel, thereby eliminating the state’s Jewish majority.
“The right of the refugees’ return to their cities and villages from which they were displaced is an inalienable right that has no statute of limitation,” Hamas claimed in its statement.
“It is an individual and a collective right as well as a natural and legal right that does not disappear due to occupation nor due to the passage of time,” it said. “It cannot be accomplished through a representative and cannot be canceled by any agreements or treaties contrary to this right.”